When we try to film the elephants vocalizing, they frequently stop vocalizing. As soon as we put away our phones or video camera, they start back up again. We think the macaws are taking lessons from the elephants (or did the elephants learn it from the macaws?).
This pequi tree was recently full of incredibly loud macaws. As soon as Scott hit “record” on his phone, they fell silent. If you look closely, you can see quite a few red and green macaws in the tree.
Pequi is a type of fruit tree indigenous here, the Cerrado Biome. The macaws and other local wildlife love them, and many Brazilians enjoy the fruit, too. The fruit is full of hidden spikes, so humans usually cook them in rice and remove the whole fruit before eating, just leaving the flavor behind. The elephants are not interested in the fruit. We have known elephants to eat spike-covered vines, so we assume it’s the flavor that is off-putting. It’s a very distinct taste, and everyone we have met either loves it or hates it.
We included a few still shots of what the fruit looks like at the end of this video for those interested.